Gas to help cushion French winter power crunch, say operators

PARIS A record output increase from gas-fired electricity generators since the start of the month could enable France avoid rolling outages this winter amid reduced supply from the country’s aging nuclear reactors, gas network operators said on Tuesday.

France’s grid operator RTE warned earlier this month that power shortages could force outages this month, an unprecedented step in one of the world’s wealthiest economies that would expose its dependence on nuclear power. France has stepped up power imports from neighboring countries.

GRTGaz, majority-owned by gas group Engie, and gas storage company TIGF, said in their 2016/2017 winter outlook that extra capacity and adequate stock levels meant gas supplies were sufficient to cover the higher output levels.

“In the event of a cold spell, existing gas infrastructure should allow suppliers to cover French (gas) consumption with a…

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